Reverie – While I’m Still Here
Words and Interview by: Tyrone Davis
I ran into Reverie while she was on a tour stop in Indianapolis and I was working with someone else on the tour. This is her story.
Introduce yourself to those who may be unfamiliar.
I’m Reverie. I’m a rapper and I’m from L.A. I was born and raised here and when I was young, I used to write poems. In junior high, my poems turned into raps because I discovered underground hip hop. I dropped my first project when I was like 19. Now, I’m 24.
With you being from the West Coast, who were some of your influences growing up?
2 Pac, Eazy-E, Snoop Dogg, Murs, Atmosphere, and Tech N9ne.
How did you end up choosing Underground Hip Hop over mainstream Hip Hop?
I was watching tv one day and we used to have in L.A. that would play local artist’s music and I saw one of Murs’s music videos on there for the first time. In my head I was thinking, “Why isn’t any of this on the radio? It’s so much better than anything on the radio.”
At this point, how many projects have you put out and what is your favorite project at this point?
I have 2 albums and 5 mixtapes, I think. “The Transition” “Russian Roulette” and my most recent project, “Quick Sand” are my favorites. Those are the most appreciated overall (by the fans).
How did you link up with Louden? It’s rare that producers will do an entire album with an artist these days. What was the process like?
Louden is my blood brother and I really like his work. I’ve done 2 projects with him. It’s easy recording with him since he is my brother. I feel more comfortable.
Do you have a problem with people who’d refer to you as a “Latin artist”?
I wouldn’t want to be considered just a Latin artist because I’m so much more than that but also I don’t mind that label. People are going to always label you to understand things better so I don’t mind being called a west coast, latin, or female rapper. I’m proud of being Latin so I don’t get offended, you know? I just wouldn’t say I’m just a chicano rapper because I cover so many areas of Hip Hop.
You’ve been touring quite a bit and have just completed a Midwest tour. How different is the West Coast from the Midwest?
The most prominent difference was the weather. The weather was crazy. When I left California, I was wearing shorts the day before and when I got to the Midwest, we were wearing snow jackets. Everything was covered in snow and it was freezing. It was also very beautiful because we aren’t used to seeing things like that. I really liked Chicago, like how it looked. It was huge and I wasn’t expecting it to be that big.
How were the fans?
They were cool. Everyone was welcoming and open minded. It was a cool experience. My favorite cities in reference to the show was Chicago, Detroit, and Milwaukee. The crowds were live and they were good nights, overall.
Describe your writing process. When you’re writing, are you trying to make a hit?
If I like a beat and I’m in the right mood and it sounds good at the moment, I’ll just write a song, you know? I like all hip hop. I like trap stuff. I like lyrical stuff. I like the boom bap. I like the west coast. I’m not trying to write a hit, but I’m trying to write a better song than the last one, you know? I’ve tried to write hits, but the hits are never the songs you think are going to be hits, at least in my experience.
You have a unique style during your live show? How long did it take for you to get comfortable performing on stage?
I would say I started being comfortable within the last 1 or 2 years. I learn a lot from seeing other artists perform, you know? I know what I like seeing in a live show so I try to incorporate that into my live show. Practice makes perfect and I have so much to improve on with my live show, but I’ve been doing it over and over and finally, I’m not embarrased to just be myself. Keep in mind that when people come, they’ve paid to see a show. They want to be entertained. They don’t want you to just be standing there rapping over your vocals on stage for 15 mins. They want something live.
What has been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome on your path? Is it as easy at it looks?
It’s definitely not as easy as it looks. It doesn’t pay a lot. I’m still figuring out how to get paid. The financial side is a big struggle. I live with my grandma right now and I drive a Honda Civic which I love, but people think I’m making a lot of money because I’m doing things. A lot of these shows don’t pay a lot and some don’t even pay at all. Also, since I’m throwing a lot of my own shows, I’m spending hella money to make money. I don’t always make my money back.
What keeps you going, being that most people do this to be famous and don’t understand how much it takes to become successful in this business?
I like what I do. I don’t get paid a lot of money but I get paid in other ways. I get to help a lot of people out, travel, and spread my message out. It’s hard to work for myself, but I enjoy it a lot. I’m just working with what I have.
You recently did a show in Indianapolis where someone grabbed your butt and an altercation broke out. How do you handle being a woman in the business?
That normally does not happen, lol. That was the first time someone has actually touched me. That was pretty crazy. I’ve had to deal with people saying stupid comments or trying to hit on me. A lot of men don’t take women seriously because other women are a certain way. Hip Hop is obviously a male dominated industry and genre as a whole. We definitely do face some challenges. It’s just part of life. Women face challenges like that no matter what field it is, unfortunately. It’s sad that we have to deal with that but it is what it is.
Who are some female MC’s you’d like to work with?
I’d love to work with Missy Elliot, Remy Ma, Jean Grae, or Roxanne Shante’. Those are the women that I really look up to. Trina, Eve.
Explain your album, “Russian Roulette” and the concept behind it.
I was working on a project, and about 3 or 4 songs in one of my friends took his own life, and that’s how he did it. So then the project turned really dark and that’s where the name came from. It’s also a metaphor. Every time I release anything, it’s like I’m taking a chance for it to either go good or it be the end of something. That’s how everything is in the music industry.
What’s next for Reverie? What is your 5-year plan?
Honestly, I really don’t have a plan for 5 years from now. I don’t like to make long term plans. Personally, it’s easier for me to not to make any expectations of anything because you usually get let down. So, I like to work as hard as I can with what is available to me at the moment.
Reverie just completed another European tour in France, Germany, Belgium, and Amsterdam. Follow Reverie on Twitter @ReverieLOVE. Photo by Lex Townsend. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org.